The latest faux cause celebre in Israel is the construction of a ramp leading to Temple Mount by Israeli authorities. The ramp will replace an earlier, ancient ramp that was damaged by an earthquake and has been declared unsafe by engineers.
Israeli Muslims claim that the purpose of the construction work is to damage the al Aqsa Mosque. This has become the latest in a long line of bogus controversies involving Temple Mount. The United Nations may find itself getting involved:
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa instructed Arab ambassadors at the U.N. to discuss the possibility of calling for an urgent meeting of the Security Council to discuss the construction.
The photo below shows the work in progress; it seems blindingly obvious that it poses no threat to the Mosque atop Temple Mount. The ramp will replace the temporary wooden structure that is visible in the picture:
The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli cabinet has voted to continue with the work, notwithstanding violent protests that have been staged at the scene by Muslims.
It appears that the Muslims’ real objection to the ramp is that it will restore permanent access to Mughrabi Gate, the only gateway to Temple Gate that is not under Muslim control. The issue, in other words, has nothing to do with a supposed risk of damage to al Aqsa Mosque, and everything to do with the Muslims’ effort to assert sole and exclusive jurisdiction over Temple Mount.
The Israelis gave Muslims control over Temple Mount, the site of Solomon’s and Herod’s temples, in 1967, in an extraordinary display of generosity and tolerance. This has turned out to be one of many good deeds by Israel that have not gone unpunished.
SCOTT adds: Caroline Glick discusses the Temple Mount agitation and describes it as a prelude to war in her most recent Jerusalem Post column. But the agitation must also be viewed in the context of the Arab war for Jerusalem to which Dore Gold devotes his new book, which he summarizes in the recent talk he gave at the Heritage Foundation (video above). I highly recommend his excellent talk.
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